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President Biden on Zawahiri's Death: Justice has been Delivered; U.S. Kills Al Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in Drone Strike; Pelosi Arrives in Taiwan Amid High Tensions with China; Mandatory Evacuations Underway in Donetsk; Soaring Profits for Big Oil Amid Cost of Living Crisis. Aired 11:08a-12p ET

Aired August 02, 2022 - 11:08:42   ET



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: All right, our colleagues there in the U.S. discussing the arrival of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan and

greeted thereby Taiwanese government delegation. To unpack this further we have John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic

Communications at the White House. He now joins us from Washington.

John, really good to see you thank you so much! Of course, we've just seen the plane landing, Nancy Pelosi arriving in Taipei and this at a time where

we've got a very aggressive stance from Beijing and in fact, an escalation in rhetoric. What's your reaction?


visit is completely consistent with American policy, no change to our One China Policy, and no change to our support to Ukraine's self-defense.

And so what we've been saying quite clearly here for the last several days is there should be no reason for the Chinese to overreact to this, there

should be any reason for them to use this visit as some sort of a pretext for any kind of action that would escalate tensions, we have no interest in

escalating tensions.

And the case we've been making all along is she has every right to go and her going is absolutely consistent with our policy.

GOIKOS: Yes, I mean, you know, the U.S. is seeing it one way the Chinese are saying this is a provocation. The Chinese military says that it won't

stand idly by and we've seen Chinese war plans coming you in a very close to Taiwanese territory.


Do you think that this trip was worth it that you're worried? I mean, you know, tell us what you're talking about from a security perspective, this

could be a tipping point, or there could be some kind of military miscalculation here. Is that fair?

KIRBY: Well, there's no reason for it to become that. Again, there's no reason for it to escalate into the military sphere, I will just tell you

that obviously, we're going to make sure that she has a safe and secure visit.

That's a paramount importance to the entire U.S. government, certainly, our administration, make sure that she can have her visit in a safe and secure

way. And we're not going to be intimidated, or deterred from all our other security commitments in the region, because of the Chinese rhetoric or even

some of their actions.

Again, there is no reason none for this to escalate tensions or to become some sort of crisis because, again, there's nothing different about the

speaker's trip from what we've been doing and saying, for now, decades with respect to China.

GOIKOS: John, Al Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri was killed over the weekend, in a drone strike very precise drone strike. But there are so many

questions about the ease at which he was able to sit on a balcony in Kabul?

And what that perhaps tells you about what the what, for example, Taliban knew about Al Qaeda, perhaps using various places within Kabul as safe

houses and your concerns about the fact that perhaps haven't been playing open cards despite their commitments in Doha?

KIRBY: Yes, look, of course, we're concerned. And we've said that his presence there is absolutely a violation of their commitments under the

Doha Agreement, where they committed to not being able or willing to provide a safe haven in Afghanistan, for terrorists who threaten our


Clearly, that didn't happen in this case. And we took action. We took some accountability. And we've made it clear in conversations with the Taliban,

that this is unacceptable. We also made it clear that because we have this capability, we're going to continue to stay vigilant and if we need to

strike again.

GOIKOS: We have seen strikes in Afghanistan before where there have been multiple casualties. This was very precise, tell me how you were able to

achieve this, I know that you use the hellfire missile, and of course for future strikes, give me a sense of these kinds of precision missiles that

you're able to deploy?

KIRBY: I'm afraid I'm not going to go into too much detail on that. You're right. This was very precise, the President was clear. The objective was

Mr. Zawahiri and nobody else. And he made it very clear to the national security team that he wanted to avoid civilian casualties, to the maximum

extent possible and we did that.

And we're certainly proud of that achievement. But I don't want to get into the specific details of the targeting and the - and how this was achieved?

I do think though, it's important to take a step back and look at what this strike proved.

One that the President was serious when he talked about our commitment to never letting Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorists to plot and

plan attacks on the United States, that's number one.

Number two, that we do have a robust over a horizon counterterrorism capability that a lot of people doubted we had a year ago. And we've worked

to improve it since we have that capability. But as the President just proved, we're not afraid to use it if in fact we believe there is a viable

threat to the American homeland.

GOIKOS: So we know that Osama Bin Laden was a very charismatic leader. Al Zawahiri was perhaps not at the same caliber, that sort of charm or, you

know, charisma, that is concerned about who's going to succeed him and what that would mean? And that he could be perhaps hiding out in Iran, or you're

really working on the next step here?

KIRBY: We don't know exactly who his successor will be, or when that successor will emerge and be named? It is clearly typical for Al Qaeda's

practices to succeed the leader and make a show of it. So we'll be watching that.

But we'll also be watching whatever Al Qaeda plans to do in the future. This is a much diminished Al Qaeda than it was even 10 years ago, or 11

years ago, when Bin Laden was killed. And we aim to keep it that way. We're not going to allow them to offer a viable threat to the American homeland

or American interests.

So we'll see. We'll see what they do next, and how they how they message what they do next. But I can tell you that we're going to remain resolute

on the threat. We're going to remain vigilant. And we're going to make sure we continue to improve those over the rising capabilities.

GOIKOS: All right, John Kirby thank you, sir, for your time great to have you on the show!

KIRBY: My pleasure. Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right let's talk more about the strike and its aftermath. CNN's Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt joins us now from

Washington. Alex, I know you were listening in on that.

I want you to give me a sense of what do you think the messaging is if it's the right messaging right now around Al Zawahiri? You know, the one

question I asked about not having any casualties this was a very precise strike after we saw other missions in the past where you had very

catastrophic and tragic casualties? This is a very different strike it seems?


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Eleni. I thought that was a terrific question because you're absolutely right. The

two messages that we are hearing out of the White House in the wake of this strike against Zawahiri the first is that justice was served that this was

arguably the most elusive and unwanted terrorist in the world would it with a $25 million bounty on his head.

And Biden Administration, saying that hopefully this provides some level of comfort to 911 families and those who have suffered because of Al Qaeda.

The other argument that you're hearing is the one that John Kirby just made right there, which was that these so called over the horizon strikes can

continue, that terrorists in Afghanistan will not have a safe harbor in Afghanistan despite the fact that there is no U.S. boots on the ground.

Despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence visibility has been reduced, to almost nothing when it comes to being on the ground but Eleni, you made the

point that past strikes have not been as precise.

The last major drone strike that we know about was at the end of August last year, when the U.S. military and intelligence community thought that a

drone was targeting an ISIS operative in Kabul instead, it targeted a civilian and ended up killing 10 members of a single family.

That was a major intelligence failure. This strike against Zawahiri, incredibly precise, was a major intelligence feat. But again, this was the

Leader of Al Qaeda, a Co-Founder of Al Qaeda, who was Bin Laden's right hand man for years.

So the question now I think becomes, how much can you replicate that? Will the U.S. continue to devote the number of resources that they did to

Zawahiri to other lower level operatives? What this is - without question, this is a stunning strike. But it remains very much to be seen whether they

can continue to maintain that level of vigilance of intelligence and devote that that level of resources to other terrorists Eleni.

GOIKOS: I mean, you know, doing a quick search on what a hellfire missile is? You can understand why it can be that precise? And perhaps we need to

talk to military analysts about what it's capable of? But here's the thing, this man was on a balcony, an easy target.

They were obviously following him for quite some time seeing what his routine was. And that's why you they were able to be so precise, but then

it begs the question in terms of what the Taliban knew, and whether they were protecting him?

MARQUARDT: Yes, they were able to be precise, because they spent months tracking his movements and his family's movements. They first detected that

the family his wife and daughter had moved to Kabul with his grandchildren.

And they detected someone who they thought was the Zawahiri coming to Kabul as well. And moving into this safe house, the women in the family, they

said, moved around with what they call terrorists tradecraft to try to throw off anybody tried to track their movements and establish some sort of

pattern. But that pattern was detected.

The Zawahiri was also spotted on the balcony of that house in Central Kabul in a very nice affluent neighborhood. He never left that house, we

understand but he did go out into the balcony.

And the reason that they were able to not just target this house, but not really damage it was because we believe that they use these two hellfire

missiles that don't really have any explosive instead, they have these blades that come out when they're fired.

So they do of course inflict an incredible amount of damage on the very site where they strike and on the person or vehicle where they strike but

they without that explosive they're not blowing up the rest of the building, if you will. And that's why the Biden Administration says it was

just as a Zawahiri who was killed and not his family who was neither hurt nor killed Eleni.

GOIKOS: Alex Marquardt, thank you so much. Good to have you on the show fantastic insight. All right, moving on now, U.S. President Joe Biden says

he hopes Ayman Al- Zawahiri's death will help bring closure to people who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks?

It ends a decade's long manhunt that began even before 9/11 our Michael Holmes explains his long and deep ties to terror.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): By the time Ayman Al- Zawahiri bursts onto the world scene after the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. He was already a terrorist committed to turning

Egypt into a fundamentalist Islamic state. The young doctor came from one of Egypt's leading families. There is even an Al- Zawahiri Street in Cairo

named after his grandfather. His uncle described him as pious.


MAHFOUZ AZZAM, AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI'S UNCLE: He was known as a good Muslim, who was keen to pray at time in the mosque and to read and to think, and to

have his own decisions.

HOLMES (voice over): Al-Zawahiri elsewhere, he spent three years in prison after Sadat's assassination. After he got out, he made his way to Pakistan,

where he used his medical skills to treat those fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. That's where he met Osama bin Laden. And they

found a common cause. He talked about it a decade later.

OSAMA BIN LADEN: (Inaudible)

HOLMES (voice over): Al-Zawahiri was many places in the early 1990s. Even it's believed visiting California on a false passport. His group attacked

Egyptian embassies and tried to kill Egyptian politicians, eventually, al- Zawahiri folded his group into al Qaeda.

SAJJAN GOHEL, ASIA-PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Al-Zawahiri pretty much led the group he did the strategic policy of what Al Qaeda's agenda was, certainly

Bin Laden gave his authority and blessings to. But al-Zawahiri called the shots.

HOLMES (voice over): Al-Zawahiri was at Bin Laden side when he declared war on America in May 1998. Weeks later, they launched an attack on U.S.

embassies in Africa, and then gloated after they escaped a U.S. cruise missile attack, launched in retaliation. After the 911 attacks al-Zawahiri

began to become the voice of al Qaeda, taunting the U.S.

LADEN: American people, you must ask yourselves why all this hate against America.

HOLMES (voice over): After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri were on the run, sometimes together more often apart.

His wife and daughters were killed in a U.S. airstrike aimed at him. But he continued to issue messages on subjects ranging from the war in Iraq, to

the London subway attacks in 2005.

And while he was always the likely choice to succeed Osama bin Laden, it took the organization several weeks to announce his promotion.

JOHN BRENNAN, THEN-U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Zawahiri is not charismatic. He has not been was not involved in the fight earlier on in

Afghanistan. So I think he has a lot of detractors within the organization. And I think you're going to see them start eating themselves from within

more and more.

HOLMES (voice over): Without bin Laden, al Qaeda can never be the same.

FAREED ZAKARIA, CN NHOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: It's an idea personified by Osama bin Laden, he was this charismatic figure to join al Qaeda, you

pledged a personal oath to him. People went and died not for Ayman al- Zawahiri or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed but for Osama bin Laden.

HOLMES (voice over): Terror experts say that to jihadist worldwide, al Qaeda still has great appeal as an inspiration. And while al-Zawahiri was

an obvious successor to bin Laden, it's not at all clear who would succeed al-Zawahiri.


GIOKOS: Announcing the death of terrorist leaders has always been made for TV moment for U.S. presidents allowing them to use those moments as

opportunities to showcase their leadership strength and resolve, even when their popularity isn't doing too well at home.


BARACK OBAMA, 44TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed

Osama bin Laden.

DONALD TRUMP, 45TH U.S. PRESIDENT: Last night the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The United States successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul Afghanistan that killed the

Emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri. No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will

find you and take you out.


GIOKOS: So Taiwan rolls out the red carpet for the highest level U.S. visit in a quarter of a century to China's target. And we will get some special

analysis from former Taiwan presidential spokesperson Kolas Yotaka.



GIOKOS: Here is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Taiwan this hour arriving in Taipei just a short time ago. Pelosi is the highest ranking American

official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Beijing has furiously warned that the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives shouldn't have gone.

But Washington has vowed not to be intimidated the trip inflaming political tensions against the backdrop of a superpower rivalry. My next guest is

Taiwan's former presidential spokesperson, she had this to say about the trip.

No one has the right to say whether Speaker Pelosi should come to Taiwan or not only she can decide and she should not feel threatened. I am looking

forward to her visit. It makes us feel less isolated and believes that there are still people who maintain their beliefs and ideals.

Kolas Yotaka joins me now from Taipei, really good to see you. Thank you so much for your time. And it's interesting you say that you're looking

forward to her visit. Could you please explain why this trip is important?

KOLAS YOTAKA, FORMER TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE SPOKESPERSON: It's very important, you know, Tony's people need friends. We want to see strong

friends and brave friends. Actually, yes, Speaker Pelosi just landed in Taipei, we are very happy that her journey was a safe and she arrived


Many Taiwanese have a good impression of Pelosi and know that she's a good friend of Taiwan for her insistence on democracy and human rights. It means

a lot to us.

GIOKOS: I am sure you also watching very closely the rhetoric, the messaging that's coming through from Beijing. And you know, it is filled

with threats and very strong language as well. The military has even weighed in saying they won't stand idly by, they even said that they will

bury their enemies. When you hear these messages from Beijing, a superpower? Does that worry you in terms of the impact the long term impact

that this could have on Taiwan?

YOTAKA: You know, actually what - is not new to us. Actually, it's very ridiculous, but predictable. I hope that China can calm down because Roc

Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. And China has no right to interfere in anything related to Taiwan.

They should not interfere with this, Speaker Pelosi's freedom of movements. But actually like what we were talking about, it's predictable actually.

It's already happening, like what you say politically, economically, diplomatically, cyber-attacks, et cetera.

But the people of Taiwan are brave. We also hope that other countries will be as brave as us when dealing with the Chinese friends.

GIOKOS: So the U.S. says that it does support that one China policy and yet it does sell weaponry to Taiwan and says that it would help defend its

sovereignty and its independence. You know, it's an interesting play on words in many ways.

What do you hope to see in terms of messaging from Pelosi during this visit? Or do you think that her visit itself speaks words?

YOTAKA: Of course, because like what I said Taiwanese people don't want to feel alone. We are confronting China. We are at the front line. This time

her route to enter in Taiwan is through the eastern coast, the eastern has some of our most important military bases.


YOTAKA: I'm confident that the U.S. and Taiwanese militaries together will offer the necessary security. But also, I have to say that we cannot count

down, anyone, we have to count down ourselves, we have been prepared for the worst.

And I think the whole words should be, you know, should be less scared, a little more brave. Because China is not just Taiwan's problem is not only

the U.S problem, it's the world's problem.

GIOKOS: And that's an interesting perspective. Xi Jinping is in a very important moment, I guess, in his political career, economically, as well.

And many asking the question whether this could be the final tipping point, you know, exacerbating of tensions at a time where things are looking very

fragile, where there are multiple geopolitical issues playing out on a global scale, and whether the timing of this is just adding fuel to the


YOTAKA: Actually let me start with the little sweet and warm stories. We welcome Speaker Pelosi, we really appreciate her visit. And most our needs

are very, very happy to see her landing safely in our country.

And you know, there is even a famous bakery, producing egg, your cupcakes, that has a special promotion based on the numbers of hours of Speaker

Pelosi will be here. So my point is, we have no comment on she is ambitious, his ambition or his fantasy about unification, China, in Taiwan,

but we will stay strong. That's the most important things.

Taiwan is the upper part of China. They have to be, they have to wake up to see the facts the whole--

GIOKOS: But Kolas, I have to ask you this, because you know, she has been so aggressive in the response from China. That's the reality. And I guess

they were waiting to see whether the U.S. would back down. They haven't.

And the messaging from China has been that she's going to have to be aggressive in his response. Are you worried about a military miscalculation

here? Or do you think there's going to be some kind of other retaliation?

YOTAKA: We have been prepared for the worse. You know, Taiwanese don't want a war at all. We want peace, but we have been prepared for preparing for

the worst scenario. So I think the Taiwanese have been bullied for decades.

That's a reality too. We are not annoyed every time when she tried to provoke us like calling the U.S playing with fire if they send Pelosi to

Taiwan. Again, this is ridiculous.

But Tony's have a strong will that our future will be determined by ourselves and not others especially not China.

GIOKOS: Kolas Yotaka, thank you very much for joining us. Thank you so much for your insights, great to have you on the show.

YOTAKA: Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right and we of course monitoring visuals and images of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's movements as well. We're going to be bringing you more news

on this after the break and more analysis.



GIOKOS: Bells down just a short time ago in Taipei, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi becoming the highest ranking American official to visit Taiwan

in 25 years. One of the big questions here however, is why push on at all with the visit.

While CNN Senior Political Reporter Stephen Collinson making the point that once the details of this trip were known, it would be unpalatable for

Pelosi to back down given her previous stances on China.

And he added that it would send a message that the United States in one of its first standoffs with a newly confident superpower rival in the Pacific

would back down and Stephen joins me now.

Stephen, so well put, because that kind of goes on in the back of your mind, you have this really strong rhetoric from Beijing saying, listens, we

don't want you to go, you need to back down.

And of course, the U.S. would then have to make concessions. And then you've got sort of the big macro picture of two superpowers playing a

global game of rhetoric tit for tat. How is this going to play out? I'm very curious to find out what you think?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, I think one of the interesting things about this is it's perhaps a preview of the future of

U.S. China relations, given China's rise to superpower status and Washington's hope to cling on to that status.

What we're seeing in both the United States and China is political forces, domestic forces, weighing on the management of what is really the most

crucial geopolitical relationship in the world.

So once it came out in Washington that Pelosi was thinking about going to Taiwan, she clearly couldn't not go for political reasons, because that

would diminish her own standing and credibility. She got a lot of support in the Congress, even from Republicans telling her that she must go.

And President Biden obviously couldn't tell Nancy Pelosi not to go simply because that would have made it look like he was bowing to Chinese

rhetoric. So you know, this dynamic here is of politics driving the situation.

And I think it's going to be very interesting to see how the politics, the complimentary politics plays out in Beijing now that Nancy Pelosi has


GIOKOS: And domestic politics also is quite interesting. 26, Senate Republicans issued a statement supporting Pelosi's visit saying that this

is travel that is consistent with United States one China policy, which they are committed to.

They say we're also committed, now more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act. It's also quite interesting that she received

bipartisan support here for this trip.

COLLINSON: Well, that's very rare, especially for Republicans to line up between behind Speaker Pelosi, she's a very radioactive figure, if you like

in Republican circles. She has spent 30 years battling Republicans. But I think this is a sign clearly of how strong the support is for Taiwan, in

the U.S. Congress.

This comes at a time when there are some more hawkish Republicans and Democrats talking about getting rid of the policy of strategic ambiguity

under which the United States doesn't say exactly how it would respond to a Chinese invasion of Taiwan both to keep the Chinese guessing, and to deter

any push towards independence that could worsen the situation from Taipei.

China is watching all of these signals. And her visit comes in the context of this increasing hawkishness in the Congress on Taiwan.

And some statements, in fact, by President Joe Biden, where he appeared to change U.S. policy on the hoof several times saying the U.S. would defend

Taiwan before the White House walk that back.

So I think you know, there's long - policy of strategic ambiguity in the United States about Taiwan. I think we're getting a lot of strategic

confusion and that is perhaps some of what is fueling the anger in China.


GIOKOS: Yes, and I mean, it's also interesting to see some of you know, Pelosi's messaging specifically in her opinion piece. And she says that we

cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan and democracy itself, which is quite interesting.

Look, Beijing is saying that this trip in itself is, you know, questioning sovereignty, China's sovereignty, they've seen it as a huge provocation.

And this kind of messaging as well, coming through from Nancy Pelosi is going to be further seen as a reason for Beijing to respond, something that

Xi Jinping says he will do people within his government have said the same, the military has said the same. And now there's a big fear about a military


COLLINSON: Right. Nancy Pelosi was writing in The Washington Post, she basically said that Taiwan was being threatened, Taiwan was a democracy, it

was a paragon of governance, comparing it very favorably to China, in terms of its COVID-19 response.

You know, Pelosi has long been an antagonist of the leaders in Beijing going right back to The Tiananmen Square protests. That's one reason why I

think the reaction to her proposal as it has been so visceral, she's a long term critic of China and human rights, and everything else.

You know, I don't think there is great concern in Washington that this could lead to a direct clash between the United States and China. There are

many reasons politically and militarily why both sides would like to avoid that.

But there is concern that China will do something, an escalation that is unprecedented, some kind of military signal towards Taiwan. And the problem

with that is, is it moves the kind of ball forward in terms of the line of sort of confrontation between the United States and China over Taiwan. And

that makes the situation all the more dangerous at a time of real rising superpower tensions.

GIOKOS: Yes, interesting time. Stephen Collinson, thank you so much. Just after the U.S. announces new support for Ukraine, we're hearing five

foreign fighters who sided with Ukraine in defending Mariupol will face trial in the so called DPR, ahead on the show more on the charges against

them. And he used to be Moscow's Chief Rabbi but he left the country just weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, why he says the mood there reminds him

of 1989.


GIOKOS: Five foreign fighters who sided with Ukraine in defending Mariupol are going to trial in the so called Donetsk People's Republic. The Court of

Appeal of the Supreme Court said these fighters are Swede, - and three Britons are accused of being foreign mercenaries.


GIOKOS: Russian state media report no trial date has been set to other Britons and a Moroccan national were sentenced to death there in June.

Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations ordered by the Ukrainian president are underway in Donetsk as Russians shelling continues.

Our Jason Carroll has been bringing hard hitting reporting from the region. He joins me now live from Kyiv with more on the situation on the ground.

Jason, really good to see you, I want you to tell me about the fate the potential fate of these five foreign fighters that face trial in Donetsk?

JASON CARROLL, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, really, the fate is unknown at this point simply because a trial date has not been set. So

certainly, the international community is going to be looking at that, to see what legal developments ended up occurring over the next few days, the

next few weeks at this point, really seeming to be a bit uncertain about that.

But also, as you can imagine, a lot of eyes are on the fighting that continues to go on in the ground, especially in the southern part of the

country in the eastern part of the country.

In the eastern part of the country, the shelling continues there, as we've seen over and over again, in the area of hard Kyiv shelling there

overnight, heavy bombings, damaging foreign buildings or restaurant or warehouse.

When you look at the south, the southern part of the country in Mykolaiv, we saw shelling there over the weekend last night over the morning and

again, showing again, damaging a university building there a dormitory.

According to the Ukrainian military, the Russians are using S300 surface to air missiles to launch their attacks also, hearing also from the Ukrainians

that the Russians though are feeling the pressure.

And that they're moving in forces from other parts of the country down to the south in anticipation of the Ukrainians trying to move in and retake

that ground. But all of this, as we're also hearing some results of what happened when the Ukrainian president told those people in the East, it is

time to evacuate and time to get out. Apparently, the first train of evacuees has moved out of the Eastern Region, that train loaded with

families, with children with elderly people, a little more than 100 people located on that train.

But as you know, there are hundreds of thousands of people in that region that still need to get out. And of course, President Zelenskyy saying that

the time now the time is now to get out before the winter, weeks and months set in, back to you.

GIOKOS: Jason Carroll, thank you so much for that update. Now, Moscow's former Chief Rabbi is warning of a dark cloud hanging over Russia, and

tough times ahead for those living there.

Pinchas Goldschmidt left the country in March over opposition to the war in Ukraine and he is now living in Israel and sat down with CNN's Hadas Gold.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Were you pressured to support the war?

PINCHAS GOLDSCHMIDT, MOSCOW'S FORMER CHIEF RABBI: The communities were pressured to support the war.

GOLD (on camera): In what ways?

GOLDSCHMIDT: I don't want to go into too many details. But organizations and individuals and communities were asked to officially support the war.

GOLD (on camera): And what do you think would have happened? How do you stayed and spoken out?

GOLDSCHMIDT: You can read the news on a daily basis of people getting arrested for speaking out, even mentioned the war today is against the law.

GOLD (on camera): Do you think you as Chief Rabbi of Moscow would have been arrested?

GOLDSCHMIDT: In today's political climate in Russia, would have been possible, yes.

GOLD (voice over): Since the start of the war in February, some 20,000 Russian Jews have left and moved Israel according to official numbers.

Pinchas Goldschmidt has been in Moscow since 1989.

Arriving there just ahead of an earlier period of mass Jewish emigration, as the Soviet Union began to fall apart. He sees similarities with the

situation today.

GOLDSCHMIDT: There's definitely a parallel of people not knowing what tomorrow will bring asking themselves also, when I arrived in 1989, a lot

of people were just, were not able yet to leave Russia.

Let's at the first possible moment, let's leave the Soviet Union because maybe, again, the iron curtain is going to close completely. So we're not

there yet. But definitely, there's a feeling of uncertainty and fear.

GOLD (on camera): You've talked about a dark cloud coming over Russia. What do you mean by that?


GOLDSCHMIDT: It's all together. It's economically, politically, isolation and repression all coming together, making life in Russia very, very


GOLD (on camera): Do you hope to only be able to go back to your position as Chief Rabbi of Moscow?

GOLDSCHMIDT: We as Jews have to be always optimists. We have no other choice.

GOLD (on camera): What will it take for you to be able to go back?

GOLDSCHMIDT: The change in a political situation.

GOLD (on camera): So changing the government, changing leadership?

GOLDSCHMIDT: A change, which will affect the whole country and also the Jewish community.


GOLD: I also asked Rabbi Goldschmidt, what he thought about Russia's attempts to dissolve the Jewish Agency. This is an organization that helps

Jews emigrate to Israel. And the Rabbi actually said he was more surprised that the Jewish Agency was even allowed to remain open considering how many

international organizations have been forced to close in recent years.

But things he said have now changed with new leadership in Israel and what he described as a deteriorating relationship between Russia and Israel.

Everything now he says is under question.

GIOKOS: And just ahead as the cost of living crisis hits households around the world, Big Oil is reporting big profits and that sparking all kinds of

debates, we'll explain next.


GIOKOS: Profits are soaring for the world's oil giants BP is the latest. Its profit jumped to a 14 year high in the second quarter as energy prices

surged Exxon Mobil, also joining the parade of booming earnings, check out how much the company's stock price has gone up in the past month.

Incredible stuff, Chevron too, all this comes as households around the world struggle with soaring bills. And that's heating up the political

debate about the cost of living crisis. This is where crude prices stand right now.

And of course, we've been seeing extraordinary push to the upside Brent is up 1 percent right now it's over $100 a barrel. WTI is it sitting at around

$95 a barrel all sitting at very high levels. We've got Clare Sebastian, watching all of this first from London, Clare, really good to see you.

You and I know that when you've got oil prices that are sitting at unsustainable levels that of course causes demand destruction that feeds

into recession, we're talking about a global recession.

And then you've got oil companies posting these mega profits after experiencing enormous pain during the pandemic. What are your analysts

telling you right now about where the oil price is going to settle? And what oil majors are thinking about the future?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Eleni suddenly if you ask BP itself, they will say that they expect them to remain elevated at least

through the next quarter. Because of course we may not have seen the last of the disruption from Russia, which of course has cut off gas supplies and

faces its own oil sanctions from the EU. So that is through the next quarter.

They also expect that the margins for oil refining will remain high. That was one of the key drivers of their profits because one of the other things

that we're seeing in the oil market is a real shortage of refining capacity.

That's yet another thing that's pushing up profits for these energy companies that it's probably not forever as you say there are possibly

impending recessions for some of the world's biggest economies that could bring oil prices down.


SEBASTIAN: One of the reasons that we've seen oil prices actually coming down in recent days is because of fears over sort of economic weakness in

China, one of the biggest consumers in oil around the world that has been bringing prices down off their recent peaks.

But as for the oil majors, Eleni, one of the other things to note one of the key controversial elements in their recent earnings report is what

they're actually doing with all the cash that they're raking in.

BP no exception today is announcing a 10 percent rise in its dividend and another share buyback program, three and a half billion announced for the

third quarter. That's on top of more than 4 billion that they've already bought back over the first half of the year, shareholders are going to be

the ones to benefit.

That is why we're seeing so much controversy because of course people are in the UK here where BP is headquartered facing a generational cost of

living crisis and in particular focus on their energy bills which are set to go up again this autumn.

GIOKOS: So well put what they are doing with the profits and that of course matters because it tells you a lot about the future. But also interesting

that we've seen you know, OPEC countries is not actually converting to increasing output. Thank you so much. And thank you for joining us that was

"Connect the World". CNN continues after the short break. Stay with us.